What the Bible Got WRONG
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01-04-2014, 02:22 AM
What the Bible Got WRONG
I know many people frown on debating the Bible with believers. It's a book of horse-shit, any reasonable person knows that, there's no reason to debate about a fictional book of myths. I get it. But the reality is that, for many believers, the book is a literal historical account of a literal god's literal works. To them, it is very real, and holds a great deal of truth. They invest heavily in its word accordingly.

For this reason, yes, I often find myself debating the veracity of the Bible with believers. Not because I want to be right about something, but because I'm attempting to find and exacerbate a crack - any crack - in their foundation and help them to see that their Bible is bullshit. (Or, at the very least, not all it's cracked up to be) If that can be accomplished, it's a very real possibility that the dominos will fall and their faith will crumble entirely. A long-shot for many, sure. But a possibility none the less.

While I was in the shower earlier tonight, I was thinking about believers (of any sort; not just religious) and how people often tend to look for reasons why their position may be right, rather than reasons why it may be wrong. I wondered how many belief systems would crumble if everyone sought to disprove their beliefs instead of trying to prove them, first. After all, it's so easy to find reasons why our beliefs are correct. To do so, there don't even need to be any valid reasons at all. Our minds will simply make one up. We must, instead, take the bold step of trying to prove ourselves wrong, first.

When it comes to the Bible, most christians are certain they've got it right. My mother, for example, likes to tout reasons why her Bible is "true" instead of reasons why it's false. She, like many other believers, likes to use the few truthful statements in the Bible to reinforce its "validity". The depiction of a circular Earth (Isaiah 40:22), the fact that the Earth is "suspended over nothing" (Job 26:7), the presence of underwater valleys in the ocean (2nd Samuel 22:16), the concept of entropy (Psalm 102:25-26), things like that. They insist that these gems of knowledge couldn't have possibly been known by anyone living at that time, and so they must've been divinely inspired by the one true God, blessed be his name forever, amen.

Of course, few (if any) of these things couldn't have been known by the average boob living…well, at any random point in Human history. Humans are everywhere and we observe these things. It didn't take divine insight to figure out that the Earth is round or to deduce that planetary objects are floating about in the open space of the cosmos. And yet these people point to these passages as somehow unique, and therefore dictated by an all-knowing deity who's insight supersedes that of mortal man. And yes, we could debate all day long about what's "metaphorical" and what's "literal" and how the Earth isn't really "suspended" and all that shit…fine. But frankly, I don't care what's meant to be literal and what's meant to be metaphorical (I don't even know how we'd go about determining that), what I care about is the fact that believers DO tout these passages as though they are accurate depictions of the world in which we live, and then use that to justify their belief. That is all that is relevant.


The point of all this rambling is that I'm looking for sources of this information at the time of or prior to the general time-frame in which the Bible was written. I want this information so that I can hold up a bit of info to the believer and say "That's cool, but Emperor So-and-So figured out X was true, and he did it on the other side of the world about a thousand years before your Bible was written. So, while the information is true, it's not all that special." Can anyone provide me with such sources? I know the 10 Commandments (or, at least, some of the specific commandments therein) predate the supposed writing. I've also heard tell that some of the aforementioned scientific information predates the writing of the Bible, yet I've never been pointed to an actual source. Can anyone help me out?

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01-04-2014, 02:37 AM
RE: What the Bible Got WRONG
(01-04-2014 02:22 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  While I was in the shower earlier tonight, I was thinking about believers (of any sort; not just religious) and how people often tend to look for reasons why their position may be right, rather than reasons why it may be wrong. I wondered how many belief systems would crumble if everyone sought to disprove their beliefs instead of trying to prove them, first. After all, it's so easy to find reasons why our beliefs are correct. To do so, there don't even need to be any valid reasons at all. Our minds will simply make one up. We must, instead, take the bold step of trying to prove ourselves wrong, first.

This converse of this is the basis of the scientific method, and why it works so well. It works against confirmation biases but forcing you to work within falsifiability and then making you do your best to prove yourself wrong.


(01-04-2014 02:22 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  The point of all this rambling is that I'm looking for sources of this information at the time of or prior to the general time-frame in which the Bible was written. I want this information so that I can hold up a bit of info to the believer and say "That's cool, but Emperor So-and-So figured out X was true, and he did it on the other side of the world about a thousand years before your Bible was written. So, while the information is true, it's not all that special." Can anyone provide me with such sources? I know the 10 Commandments (or, at least, some of the specific commandments therein) predate the supposed writing. I've also heard tell that some of the aforementioned scientific information predates the writing of the Bible, yet I've never been pointed to an actual source. Can anyone help me out?

I got your ancient Greek mathematician right here, Eratosthenes!

"Eratosthenes will always be remembered for the calculation of the Earth's circumference circa 240 BC, using trigonometry and knowledge of the angle of elevation of the Sun at noon in Alexandria and Syene (now Aswan, Egypt). The calculation is based on the assumption that the Earth is spherical and that the Sun is so far away that its rays can be taken as parallel. "

[Image: eratosthenes_experiment.jpg]

http://www.juliantrubin.com/bigten/eratosthenes.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

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01-04-2014, 02:58 AM
RE: What the Bible Got WRONG
(01-04-2014 02:37 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  I got your ancient Greek mathematician right here, Eratosthenes!

"Eratosthenes will always be remembered for the calculation of the Earth's circumference circa 240 BC, using trigonometry and knowledge of the angle of elevation of the Sun at noon in Alexandria and Syene (now Aswan, Egypt). The calculation is based on the assumption that the Earth is spherical and that the Sun is so far away that its rays can be taken as parallel. "

[Image: eratosthenes_experiment.jpg]

http://www.juliantrubin.com/bigten/eratosthenes.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

Still get shivers down my spine whenever I remember this guy. What an amazing thing to discover back then! Smile

However, there's also Aristotle:

Quote:Aristotle observed "there are stars seen in Egypt and [...] Cyprus which are not seen in the northerly regions." Since this could only happen on a curved surface, he too believed Earth was a sphere "of no great size, for otherwise the effect of so slight a change of place would not be quickly apparent." (De caelo, 298a2–10)

Aristotle provided physical and observational arguments supporting the idea of a spherical Earth:
Every portion of the Earth tends toward the center until by compression and convergence they form a sphere. (De caelo, 297a9–21)
Travelers going south see southern constellations rise higher above the horizon; and
The shadow of Earth on the Moon during a lunar eclipse is round. (De caelo, 297b31–298a10).

OK, he got some things wrong, but the idea was there even since the 5th century BC with Pythagoras, Parmenides and Empedocles. The sources are not very clear here though.

(01-04-2014 02:22 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  The depiction of a circular Earth (Isaiah 40:22), the fact that the Earth is "suspended over nothing" (Job 26:7), the presence of underwater valleys in the ocean (2nd Samuel 22:16), the concept of entropy (Psalm 102:25-26), things like that. They insist that these gems of knowledge couldn't have possibly been known by anyone living at that time, and so they must've been divinely inspired by the one true God, blessed be his name forever, amen.

Also, you could check out The myth of Er from Plato. There is an interesting description of the universe, the Earth and the rest of the heavenly bodies. Definitely not accurate, but shows that a "suspended" Earth was not so original an idea.
It also includes an afterlife description with a kind of Heaven and Hell. There's tons of Christian things in Plato in general.

I don't see how the other two passages have anything to do with underwater valleys and entropy. The first one seems too figurative. Maybe you could explain how they attempt to connect this with entropy? I'm sure there must be something in Ancient Greek philosophy about it too.

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01-04-2014, 03:36 AM
RE: What the Bible Got WRONG
(01-04-2014 02:58 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  
(01-04-2014 02:37 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  I got your ancient Greek mathematician right here, Eratosthenes!

"Eratosthenes will always be remembered for the calculation of the Earth's circumference circa 240 BC, using trigonometry and knowledge of the angle of elevation of the Sun at noon in Alexandria and Syene (now Aswan, Egypt). The calculation is based on the assumption that the Earth is spherical and that the Sun is so far away that its rays can be taken as parallel. "

[Image: eratosthenes_experiment.jpg]

http://www.juliantrubin.com/bigten/eratosthenes.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

Still get shivers down my spine whenever I remember this guy. What an amazing thing to discover back then! Smile

However, there's also Aristotle:

Quote:Aristotle observed "there are stars seen in Egypt and [...] Cyprus which are not seen in the northerly regions." Since this could only happen on a curved surface, he too believed Earth was a sphere "of no great size, for otherwise the effect of so slight a change of place would not be quickly apparent." (De caelo, 298a2–10)

Aristotle provided physical and observational arguments supporting the idea of a spherical Earth:
Every portion of the Earth tends toward the center until by compression and convergence they form a sphere. (De caelo, 297a9–21)
Travelers going south see southern constellations rise higher above the horizon; and
The shadow of Earth on the Moon during a lunar eclipse is round. (De caelo, 297b31–298a10).

OK, he got some things wrong, but the idea was there even since the 5th century BC with Pythagoras, Parmenides and Empedocles. The sources are not very clear here though.

(01-04-2014 02:22 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  The depiction of a circular Earth (Isaiah 40:22), the fact that the Earth is "suspended over nothing" (Job 26:7), the presence of underwater valleys in the ocean (2nd Samuel 22:16), the concept of entropy (Psalm 102:25-26), things like that. They insist that these gems of knowledge couldn't have possibly been known by anyone living at that time, and so they must've been divinely inspired by the one true God, blessed be his name forever, amen.

Also, you could check out The myth of Er from Plato. There is an interesting description of the universe, the Earth and the rest of the heavenly bodies. Definitely not accurate, but shows that a "suspended" Earth was not so original an idea.
It also includes an afterlife description with a kind of Heaven and Hell. There's tons of Christian things in Plato in general.

I don't see how the other two passages have anything to do with underwater valleys and entropy. The first one seems too figurative. Maybe you could explain how they attempt to connect this with entropy? I'm sure there must be something in Ancient Greek philosophy about it too.

I got them from apologists, so, you'll have to get their reasoning on that one. lol. I could just sort of see - when I tilt my head and squint my eyes - how they can make those connections, so I figured I'd throw them in for good measure.

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01-04-2014, 06:28 AM
RE: What the Bible Got WRONG
We know that humans understood the concept of pi and how to calculate it at least [ulr=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_computation_of_π]4,600 years ago[/ulr]. Meanwhile, according to 1 Kings 7:23, the Bible thinks pi = 3 exactly.

that silly Bible Wrote:23 And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.


Note: a clever apologist will throw 1 Kings 7:26 back at you and say how there was a variable thickness described (measured in hand breadths) and say that it's possible, given enough variation in one person's hand and another person's forearm length (used to derive a cubit) that maybe this measurement actually worked out. They have to assume that, though, and it seems pretty shaky. It blatantly said 10 cubits across and 30 cubits around, not 10 x 31-and-a-half.

The best case the apologist can make is that the Bible was extremely confusing about how it described the construction of the object, which raises other concerns.
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01-04-2014, 07:41 AM (This post was last modified: 01-04-2014 07:45 AM by Banjo.)
RE: What the Bible Got WRONG
What does the Bible get wrong? A better question is what does it get right.

Bats are refered to as birds, the earth is at the center of the universe, humans can live 9 centuries, insects have 4 legs, humans are created from dust etc etc. It is one long work of inaccuracies and falsehoods.

My advice is you read it before debating theists. Unless you know your subject, better to remain quiet. You do not want this said of you.

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01-04-2014, 08:09 AM
RE: What the Bible Got WRONG
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01-04-2014, 08:29 AM
RE: What the Bible Got WRONG
(01-04-2014 02:37 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(01-04-2014 02:22 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  While I was in the shower earlier tonight, I was thinking about believers (of any sort; not just religious) and how people often tend to look for reasons why their position may be right, rather than reasons why it may be wrong. I wondered how many belief systems would crumble if everyone sought to disprove their beliefs instead of trying to prove them, first. After all, it's so easy to find reasons why our beliefs are correct. To do so, there don't even need to be any valid reasons at all. Our minds will simply make one up. We must, instead, take the bold step of trying to prove ourselves wrong, first.

This converse of this is the basis of the scientific method, and why it works so well. It works against confirmation biases but forcing you to work within falsifiability and then making you do your best to prove yourself wrong.


(01-04-2014 02:22 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  The point of all this rambling is that I'm looking for sources of this information at the time of or prior to the general time-frame in which the Bible was written. I want this information so that I can hold up a bit of info to the believer and say "That's cool, but Emperor So-and-So figured out X was true, and he did it on the other side of the world about a thousand years before your Bible was written. So, while the information is true, it's not all that special." Can anyone provide me with such sources? I know the 10 Commandments (or, at least, some of the specific commandments therein) predate the supposed writing. I've also heard tell that some of the aforementioned scientific information predates the writing of the Bible, yet I've never been pointed to an actual source. Can anyone help me out?

I got your ancient Greek mathematician right here, Eratosthenes!

"Eratosthenes will always be remembered for the calculation of the Earth's circumference circa 240 BC, using trigonometry and knowledge of the angle of elevation of the Sun at noon in Alexandria and Syene (now Aswan, Egypt). The calculation is based on the assumption that the Earth is spherical and that the Sun is so far away that its rays can be taken as parallel. "

[Image: eratosthenes_experiment.jpg]

http://www.juliantrubin.com/bigten/eratosthenes.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

Nice copying Adam Savage's explanation, bastard.
Just kidding. Smile

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01-04-2014, 09:12 AM
RE: What the Bible Got WRONG
(01-04-2014 02:22 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  When it comes to the Bible, most christians are certain they've got it right. My mother, for example, likes to tout reasons why her Bible is "true" instead of reasons why it's false. She, like many other believers, likes to use the few truthful statements in the Bible to reinforce its "validity". The depiction of a circular Earth (Isaiah 40:22), the fact that the Earth is "suspended over nothing" (Job 26:7), the presence of underwater valleys in the ocean (2nd Samuel 22:16), the concept of entropy (Psalm 102:25-26), things like that. They insist that these gems of knowledge couldn't have possibly been known by anyone living at that time, and so they must've been divinely inspired by the one true God, blessed be his name forever, amen.

Hold up... you mean the one that imagined the world as:
a flat and round disk, covered by the great solid dome of the firmament which was held up by mountain pillars, (Job 26:11; 37:18). The blue color of the sky was attributed to the chaotic waters that the firmament separated from the earth (Genesis 1:7). The earth was surrounded by waters above and below (Genesis 1:6,7; Psalms 24:2; 148:4, Deuteronomy 5:8). The firmament was thought to be substantial; it had pillars (Job 26:11) and foundations (2 Samuel 22:8). When the windows of it were opened, rain fell (Genesis 7:11-12, 8:2). The sun, moon, and stars moved across or were fixed in the firmament (Genesis 1:14-19; Psalms 19:4,6). It was also the abode of the birds (Genesis 1:20; Deuteronomy 4:17). Within the earth lay Sheol, the realm of the dead (Numbers 16:30-33; Isaiah 14:9,15).

...? Strange Consider

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01-04-2014, 10:57 PM
RE: What the Bible Got WRONG
Brett Palmer - What Genesis Got Wrong

Part 1/14

An earlier series, the production values might not be as good, but it's still informative. His videos get much better (including much improved mic and audio) in later videos.








Brett Palmer - Giants of the Bible

Part 1/5








Brett Palmer - What the Bible Got Wrong: A Flat Earth

Part 1/4








Brett Palmer - What Genesis Got Wrong: The Firmament

Part 1/2








Potholer54debunks - Noah's Flood Debunked

Part 1/2




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